Bread machines are a wonderful devices for those not afraid of a good carb once in a while.
I know, carbs are all bad and protein saves the world. Well, maybe. I know that excessive carbs are fattening and bad, but what about healthy whole grain bread fresh from your home with no preservatives or additives…may be better for you than hormone-laden beef…just sayin’….
What do you do with that extra flour and yeast? Rotate it through your stores by making FRESH bread.
From King Arthur’s website:
Bread Machine Basics
We hope you enjoy this beginners’ exploration of bread machines, and feel confident that you can produce a good loaf of bread in your machine. Once you feel comfortable with how your machine works, begin to think about using it for all kinds of yeast baking: it’s an incredibly versatile tool, if you use your imagination. We’ve used our bread machine to make the dough for wonderful pizza, sticky buns, kolache, bread sticks, baguettes, focaccia, doughnuts, coffee cakes…you get the picture.
Don’t be afraid to open your machine to look at and poke the dough as it kneads. This is the only way you’ll be able to tell if the combination of ingredients you’ve used has made a good dough. We don’t recommend poking the dough as it rises, and you shouldn’t open the top when your machine is in its second rise or baking cycle, but before that, feel free to get familiar with your dough, and how your machine works with it; that’s how you’ll learn.
If you’re using your machine’s delayed cycle, where the machine won’t start for several hours, don’t use fresh ingredients such as milk, eggs, cheese, etc. Bacteria likes to grow in these ingredients, and there’s a risk of food poisoning in keeping them at room temperature.
Too little yeast, your bread won’t rise sufficiently; too much, and it will rise and collapse. It’s important to watch your dough as it rises and bakes; dough that has risen and collapsed may look just like dough that never rose at all, once it’s baked. In order to correct the problem, you need to know what went wrong.
Bread that is undercooked and gummy inside is bread that didn’t rise sufficiently
We’ve found that one or more of the following will increase the chances of your getting a successful loaf of sweet bread: doubling the amount of yeast; cutting back the amount of salt; using 1/8 teaspoon of ascorbic acid; using the longest cycle on your machine (the one with the longest rising period); or taking the dough out of the machine, and forming and baking it by hand.
Match the flour to the desired result. A high-protein all-purpose or bread flour will yield high-rising bread. Whole-grain flours will yield denser, heavier, more substantial breads. A combination of flours will yield something in between.
The basic ratio of salt to flour in bread is 1/2 teaspoon salt per cup of flour. Recipes that call for less salt than this may seem “blah”; try increasing the amount of salt to the recommended ratio.
The basic all-purpose flour/liquid ratio is 2 1/2 to 3 cups flour to 1 1/4 cups liquid, depending on the time of year — more flour in the summer, less in the winter.
Bread that rises, then collapses in the middle as it bakes — the infamous “crater bread” — contains too much liquid. Adjust your formula.
Adding a couple of teaspoons of flour along with the raisins/nuts helps the dough in the machine to “open up” and accept whatever you’re adding more easily. If “additives” haven’t kneaded into the dough by the time it goes into its first rise, simply remove the dough from the machine, scoop out the raisins/nuts, knead them in by hand, and return the dough to the machine.
Buy a used one at a yard sale or from craigslist/ebay
Buy a cheapie from a discount store and try it out before you buy an expensive one.
Good luck and bake some bread!!!!
Remodeling Magazine had an interesting article showing trends in who remodels, why, and how much.
It also Mentions the top 100 markets for remodeling in 2012. The top ten on their list are
- Austin, TX
- Kansas City
What kinds of projects are high on the list of remodels?
- in-law suites
- bonus rooms
- room/space conversions
Trends indicate that the remodels are being done with long-term occupation in mind. These are people planning on settling-in.
The article mentions that these remodel experts see real estate as bottoming out. It’s not done falling in some markets: see Las Vegas
Remodeling Mag has many wonderful article titles, but the articles lack much detail or explanation. I’d like to tell you more about their research, but their article is basically a picture
CNN Money’s article on home buying, dated Feb 16th, mentions that based on all data available, homes are the most affordable they’ve been in decades.
76% of all new and existing housing sold during the last 3 months of 2011 were in the affordable range for the average family (whose income is $64,200).
Mortgages are also incredibly cheap, but they’re hard to come buy. You better have excellent credit. Interest rates are currently under 4%. That’s a steal!
Markets with the least affordable homes? New York, San Francisco, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Santa Ana, Ca.
President wants cheaper coins.
The pennies and nickels we are currently minting cost more to make than they are actually worth. That may be a problem.
- It costs the taxpayer 2.4 cents to make a penny
- It costs 11.2 cents to make a nickel.
Crock Pots are an absolute MUST in our household. Some people just don’t get them. Some people do. A slow cooker is one of the BEST WAYS to combat fast food/junk food. And I’ll show you why.
Slow and long becomes instant. The fact that you set a crockpot and forget it…got to work/school…go to the mall…kill a few hours doing anything…and come home to a hot meal that’s ready means that it is instant healthy home cooked food if you get into the habit.
Some call them crockpots, some slow cookers–whatever. There are some basic sizes and I recommend every family have at least two.
- First: only buy ones with liftout casserole dishes if you’re buying new.
- Second: EVERY yard sale has a used crockpot for sale. Start with them. Never but one that is cracked through. It’s ruined
- Buy one with an automatic timer/shutoff device. Makes everything cooked but not overdone.
- Three: Buy crockpot liners that cover the dish and make clean-up a breeze
- Four: Have SOS pads handy to scrub baked on food if you don’t have liners.
- Five: Trust the machine. You are not a slave to the machine. Go for a run. Take a walk. Go do something.
- Slow-roasted food is delicious and healthy. Much more so than the premade garbage from the stores or takeout restaurants.
Many consider slow cookers and their many recipes to be one of today�s best cooking time saving inventions. One can prepare the ingredients, mix them into the slow cooker, and just leave the pot on all day while they are off to work or other activities associated with today�s busy life style. When you get home, your favorite slow cooker recipe will be cooked and ready to serve.
All types of foods can be prepared and cooked in a slow cooker. For example, chicken, pork, beef, all types of vegetables and even fruits will cook up great in a slow cooker. Today�s slow cooker recipes are known and loved for their simplicity – especially for the cooking time it can save.
Slow cooker recipes rely on the low cooking heat they produce to slowly cook the foods. Steam rises as the food cooks, and then circulates back within the pot to cook the food. When cooking slow cooker recipes, it is best to refrain from lifting up the lid to take a peak (when the steam escapes the temperature in the slow cooker drops and then has to be built up again � normally over a period of 20 minutes, or longer).
Typically, slow cooking recipes take all day long to cook, making them ideal for busy people who want the advantage of coming home from a long day at work, to a fully cooked meal that requires little or no further preparation.
If you�d like a better handle on how to convert oven cooking times to slow cooker cooking times, please see the section below �Converting Recipes�:
The slow cooker is considered by many to be one of today�s best time-saving kitchen appliances. They are especially good for beginning cooks, because all they have to do is fill the pot with their selected ingredients and turn it on. Hours later, they can return home to a house filled with the wonderful aromas of a fully cooked dinner, ready for the table.
Following are some basic tips to help you know and understand more about using your slow cooker.
General Oven to Slow cooker Cooking Time Conversions
General Slow-Cooking Times for Specific Foods
For Your Health
Tips for Slow Cooking Recipe Success
Frequently Asked Questions on Slow Cooker Cooking
More Slow-Cooking Tips
Throw away the deep fryer.
Stop frying in a frying pan.
Cook things in their natural juices or healthy sauces.
Get back into roasting food.
Get back to living.
My three favorite recipes:
1. Stuffed peppers: Take 3-4 green peppers, cut off tops and clean out insides. In a bowl mix raw ground beef and instant rice. Place in peppers to top. Place peppers in crock pot. Add 2-3 cans of tomato soup and 2-3 cups of water. Or use tomato sauce in place of tomato soup if preferred. Add powdered garlic and onion to soup. Cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6 hours. This is the abbreviated directions. Find one you like.
2. & 3. Wings and soup. Buy several pounds of whole, uncooked wings. Place in crockpot, Add water and cook for 4-6 hours. Remove wings from water and keep broth in crockpot. Put wings in fridge to cool overnight and harden. Now to broth in crock, add garlic, onion, carrots, parsley, celery, salt…and anything else you use to make chicken soup. Cook until carrots/veggies soft. In meantime, boil water in a pot and cook soup noodles (I like the thick “dumpling” egg noodles). Enjoy your chicken soup for days.
Next day: Now take those chilled wings out of the fridge after letting them rest for at least 12 hours. Start up the grill or the broiler. Add wing sauce of choice and grill/ broil until warmed and crispy (they’re already cooked through). Enjoy with celery and bleu/ranch dressing or as preferred.
There you go: two meals (minimum, from one crock pot).
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CNN’s Money 101 is a list of things to do to get your fiscal house in order.
I’ll probably be podcasting on some of these financial current events in the neatr future. Read
On Wednesday I picked-up my wife at the airport. As I left the car to greet her and welcome her home from her trip, she looked me over and with a dismissive tone asked,”What happened to your hoodie?”
So much for the warm hello, I felt like a goofball.
The hoodie had failed with the zipper halfway down my chest. The zipper’s teeth were apart above and below the zipper, and the zipper itself failed.
After my initial disappointment, I began to feel happy. Happy? Are you nuts, Dan? Maybe…but that’s another show. I was happy BECAUSE I USED SOMETHING UP. I WASTED NOTHING.
Now if something falls apart and it was cheaply made, that’s different. I mean wearing something out and KNOWING I got my money’s worth is a great feeling.
I realized that by using something up, NO MONEY WAS LEFT ON THE TABLE. How many times have we left money on the table? When something is completely depleted, you KNOW you got your money’s worth and feel that sense of accomplishment.
Some examples of depleting and feeling great about it:
- Getting 150k or 250k out of your car.
- Finishing off a box of nails
- Wearing out a pair of shoes.
- Using up a 25 lb bag of rice.
So what is the point of all of this?
There is a joy in wearing something out, using it up and being responsible with the assets you have. If you used everything up, there can be NO REGRETS. NO MONEY IS LEFT ON THE TABLE. Do the same in your life. Apply it to consumable items and intangible things as well. Apply it to gardening, homesteading, life. Don’t waste resources. Take care of them and make them last as long as possible.
It’s called STEWARDSHIP. If you are a good steward of your resources, you are wealthier than others in similar circumstances…because people, by their nature, are wasteful.
Where can you maximize your utility and minimize your waste?
Thanks for listening,
What if you were in a decent financial position?
OR even if you weren’t?
What if you were in a position where you could easily move up to a bigger home in a nicer area with a high end reputation?And what if you did JUST the opposite?
Or you stayed in a modest house your whole life?
What if you were a prepper hiding in plain sight? What if you CHOSE to live below your means? What if one of your strategies for survival was to not let on you had anything in the first place?
Today, I pose some questions to challenge your notions of prepping and how to hide in plain sight. Even if the scenarios I pose are not for you, personally, the academic exercise of going through these questions will help you be a better homesteader and do-it-yourself-er.
What if you were well off and went into a safe, not so fancy home, in a working class neighborhood, or a trailer park, or a small place on some acreage or…you get the idea.
And what if you kept it clean, simple and comfortable on the outside and nice and comfortable on the inside?
And what if you pocketed all of that money from your old house or the bigger one you were going to buy…and bought land or a cabin or another house in the country?
Or stayed in that one house your whole life (or ones of similar value) and just stashed the money after you paid-off the mortgage?
And what if you had that house in the country set up as a weekend or vacation home and had the resources to have a great place?
And what if you maintained a great life in your small/modest home in the urban area and had the best of both worlds and could keep both or eventually pick one and live there when you retire?
What if you didn’t tell either group at the two places much about your other place…unless you wanted to?
It seems to me you would be a prepper hidden in plain sight. You would just be a regular person living modestly, and drawing little attention. With simple, inexpensive cars, you could have ample resources in the bank or in land or whatever, and nobody would have to know you were doing better than you let on.
I think this would be attractive to many people on many different levels. When times are good, your modest lifestyle draws NO attention. When times are tough, you have two places and two survival scenarios.
What people know about you is what you choose to tell them. If SHTF happens, I would suggest that larger homes would be bigger targets than a row house.
You could have a level of redundancy that could give you a REAL sense of well-being.
Is this scenario realistic? YES
Is it for you? Only you can say. I just wanted to extend our discussion from yesterday on stealth prepping and provide an idea for some of you.
Oh and for those that say nobody of means would choose to do such a thing: I know one guy with a thriving survival podcast in Arkansas who lives on a mountain in a double-wide.
Stealthy prepping is emergency preparedness that is done on the down-low…keeping a low profile about your prepping and keeping your business your business.
Today’s show is not about hiding your valuables from others and neglecting your moral obligation to help others in need. For various reasons, some people cannot or should not tell people around them what prepping they do, how they do it and where they do it.
Let me pose some questions:
How much does/do ________________ need to know? (insert the variables)
- government agencies
- extended family
Next, do you have a Bug Out Location (BOL)? It could be a cabin, vacation, relative’s/friend’s house or just an area you know well and feel you could survive in.
Will you be prepping your BOL? Your primary residence? Both? This requires forethought and planning. Maintaining emergency supplies at several places is costly and time-consuming.
Should you let others know you have a BOL? Can you use it to your advantage? Can you use it as a red herring so people don’t know where you are?
Would they follow you/try to find you if they knew?
To protect family?
Use CODE WORDS to hide your plans.
Use CODE WORDS for meeting places and situations, evacuation routes, alternate BOLs, etc.
Develop meeting places that are NOT expected to meet. Find public and semi private place to meet, bug out, or hide/wait out an emergency.
Hide? Paranoid, much, Dan?
No, I’m not. But what if someone wanted to hurt my wife or daughter or family member? Psychos are real, and that is a VERY realistic scenario.
Waste time and don’t go in a direct route and don’t make meeting places obvious, like a point between your beginning or ending point. Plan out of the way places that Don’t Make Sense…because people will try to logically reason through where you are.
Lastly Make a plan. Have code words. Prep. Plan. Prep. Plan. Have alternate BOL locations. Keep people guessing. Be unpredictable. Be safe. Be prepared.
It’s time to talk about emergency preparedness. Today’s topic is the bug out bag or as I like to call the the EBB (Emergency Evacuation Bag)
The are MANY solid, sane reasons for having an EEB. First off, if even the clueless government is asking people to have them, well, maybe you should.
I spent years around Washington DC. I was there for 911…and the DC sniper…and other things. Many threats we’ll never know about because they were stopped by the brave people sworn to protect us. In DC, we knew that if SHTF and it was an immediate threat, every SECOND counted.
But speaking to a broader audience, I have to tell you that a terrorist threat is pretty small. What is larger, by leaps and bounds, is natural disasters. Tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, fires, an explosion at a nearby factory (not natural), and a thousand others I didn’t name all could affect you in a minute’s notice…I’ll add blizzard and ice storm to the list just so you don’t think I was making-up the “many more” thing.
If that time comes, you need to evacuate your family safely and quickly. Pre-packed EEBs will get you out the door in minutes. You need to have one for EVERY member of the family, including each pet you take with you. Also, if you have an elderly relative or friend with special needs, you need to have one or they need to have one, too. In addition to your EEB, you need to have a “barter/currency” bag so you can get what you need when you get somewhere.
Okay so what does an EEB look like?
I have no idea, because each person’s will be different. It might be:
- an old suitcase that isn’t nice enough to actually use anymore when you travel…
- or a giant gym bag, or
- an external/internal frame backpack, or
- a giant duffle bag, or
- a big black trash bag, for heaven’s sake.
- It’s exterior decorations aren’t important. It’s what’s inside that counts.
First off, Have enough of everything for at least three days. Don’t plan for a year, that’s just plain dumb. Plan for a few days until things blow over, etc.
Basic Disaster Supplies Kit
A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:
- Water, one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
- Food, at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
- Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert and extra batteries for both
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Whistle to signal for help
- Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
- Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
- Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
- Manual can opener for food
- Local maps
- Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
Additional Emergency Supplies
Supplies for Unique Needs
Once you have gathered the supplies for a basic emergency kit, you may want to consider adding the following items:
- Prescription medications and glasses
- Infant formula and diapers
- Pet food and extra water for your pet
- Cash or traveler’s checks and change
- Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records in a waterproof, portable container. You can use the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit
- Emergency reference material such as a first aid book or free information from this web site. (See Publications)
- Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person. Consider additional bedding if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Complete change of clothing including a long sleeved shirt, long pants and sturdy shoes. Consider additional clothing if you live in a cold-weather climate.
- Household chlorine bleach and medicine dropper – When diluted, nine parts water to one part bleach, bleach can be used as a disinfectant. Or in an emergency, you can use it to treat water by using 16 drops of regular household liquid bleach per gallon of water. Do not use scented, color safe or bleaches with added cleaners.
- Fire extinguisher
- Matches in a waterproof container
- Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
- Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
- Paper and pencil
- Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children
- DC power inverter for car, etc
- alarm clock
- tooth brushes/paste
- garbage bags (storage, rain ponchos, retain heat, etc)
- work gloves
- 50′ rope
- water carrier
- nalgene bottles and water filter that fits nalgene top
- coloring books/crayons
- books and survival manuals
- bible/ spiritual & religious material
A first-Aid kit:
In any emergency a family member or you yourself may suffer an injury. If you have these basic first aid supplies you are better prepared to help your loved ones when they are hurt.
Knowing how to treat minor injuries can make a difference in an emergency. You may consider taking a first aid class, but simply having the following things can help you stop bleeding, prevent infection and assist in decontamination.
- Two pairs of Latex or other sterile gloves if you are allergic to Latex
- Sterile dressings to stop bleeding
- Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes
- Antibiotic ointment
- Burn ointment
- Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes
- Eye wash solution to flush the eyes or as general decontaminant
- Prescription medications you take every day such as insulin, heart medicine and asthma inhalers. You should periodically rotate medicines to account for expiration dates.
- Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose and blood pressure monitoring equipment and supplies
- Aspirin or non-aspirin pain reliever
- Anti-diarrhea medication
Other first aid supplies:
- Tube of petroleum jelly or other lubricant
Remember the unique needs of your family members, including growing children, when making your emergency supply kit and family emergency plan.
- Powdered milk
- Moist towelettes
- Diaper rash ointment
For more information about the care and feeding of infants and young children during an emergency, visit the California Dept. of Public Health website.
- Denture needs
- Contact lenses and supplies
- Extra eye glasses
Ask your doctor about storing prescription medications such as heart and high blood pressure medication, insulin and other prescription drugs.
If you live in a cold climate, you must think about warmth. It is possible that you will not have heat. Think about your clothing and bedding supplies. Be sure to include one complete change of clothing and shoes per person, including:
- Jacket or coat
- Long pants
- Long sleeve shirt (think layers)
- Knit hats (#1 area of heat loss is the head…you can pick them up for 50 cents at the end of winter at a big box store)
And one they won’t mention:
- weapons–baseball bats and knives at a minimum
- guns and ammo to be safe.
Survivalcache.com has a pretty comprehensive discussion of this topic
Home Improvement Horror Stories…kind of. These stories are about pros and Joes who ruined the job. Remember, sometimes you can do a better job than they can if you have the skills.
Since I podcasted DIY SHTF, I thought this would be fun topic to cover. Expect a podcast compiling these and going into greater detail in the near future.
Here are just some of the disasters people got into by hiring “professionals”
Pros Who Suck:
This story comes from Carolina Country
- Textured Ceiling Disaster:
A family hires some pros to put up textured ceilings with perlite (aka popcorn). The family plans the work while they take a trip, so they won’t have to deal with it (that’s a BIG mistake). When they get back, the ceiling is covered, but so is everything else. The perlitewas everywhere. The creeps didn’t use dropcloths or cover anything. Months of cleaning ensued and the STILL had perlite coming out of their ears.
- Chimney Disaster
Family fixes 1840s farmhouse chimney. Chimney sweep hired to line area around flue w/ concrete/sand mix. The weight of the concrete ruptured flue. Concrete all over living room. Sweep tells them to let it dry. He comes back on Mon and cleans up. Pours another liner that works. Geesh.
The next comes from Contractorsfromhell.com
The first story on there resembles a novel and goes on for days. Suffice it to say, I’ll give you an overview:
Couple wants a master suite addition. They hire a firm advertised heavily on San Diego radio. They hire them to draw up the plans, first. Plans done, they take bids. All other contractors say the plans suck and they aren’t professional/standard. Contractors refuse to BID on the project because of it. So the couple hire the plan designers. The couple gives them a ton of money. Work never starts. When it does, they build the addition 18 inches over code. City tells builder to re-do addition. More trouble. More delays. More trouble. More delays. Subcontractors have no plans to follow. Roof leaks. Water damage. Mold. Lawsuits. Government agencies. Time delay. Waste. Finally I guess she won her case, settling out of court, but she is really weak on the details of the settlement. After reading a million pages, I’d have liked to know the settlement details, but It’s quite a trainwreck you can read for yourselves.
- DIY OOPS…In the Trenches
Not a contractor this time, just a friend. A guy asks a his friend to help him dig a ditch in his yard with a ditch digging machine. While the guy is upstairs changing into work clothes, his friend fires up the ditch digger…only the ditch digger is in gear and starts towards the guy’s van. The friend can’t find the off switch. The ditch digger rips up the guy’s van, and gets damaged itself by tearing up the van, too.
Not to be deterred, these idiots go back to the rental company and get the ditch digger repaired. Back at the site, the newly repaired ditch digger’s reign of terror has just begun. Next up: water line. Still feeling the magic, they cut the electric line. Finally, the city gas line is ruptured.
These guys were freaking morons and lucky they weren’t killed or killed somebody else. These clowns are banned from my site and must live in condos with HOA fees to cover maintenance.
Remember: Call the FREE utility locator service in your area before you dig. All utils will be flagged. And know how to work equipment before you use it: Ding-Dongs! That was just irresponsible and dangerous.
A Swing That Didn’t
A couple of ladies try their hand at installing a swing on their porch. I love swings and sitting on one on a summer’s day is a real treat (out of the sun). The swing is attached, and on its maiden voyage tears off a ceiling plank and crashes to the floor with the not-too-skinny ladies nearly taken out by the disaster. Turns out they didn’t anchor the bolts to the 2x4s correctly. Ouch. Nobody got hurt.
The better way to do this job is remove the material and look at the studs/braces. I like to connect the 2x4s with 2×6 braces on their sides in-between or double-up the 2x4s over the area carrying the load and brace in-between. Attach metal plates or brackets and then cover the ceiling/roof up. Then I go to the hardware store and get bolts TWICE the size of the ones provided and sink those into the rock-hard, sturdy superstructure. Use bolts similar to the ones that are used to install above-head garage shelving. Also, I’m comfortable using bolts with nuts and locking washers, but I don’t recommend it to an amateur who don’t know what I’m talking about. Some will try giant eye hooks or toggle bolts–don’t. Screws are not recommended and can fail. I remove part of the chain provided and add heavy-duty springs that will easily handle 600 lbs (on a two-person swing so “roomy” people are safe). The spring will sink a little under the load and give a SMOOOOOTHE ride to its passengers. I recommend these ladies ditch DIY projects if they did THAT poor of a job on a swing and almost seriously hurt someone. Broken backs could easily have resulted from their half-rearended attempt. Screwing-up a wall or damaging a parked car is one thing, risking people’s lives is quite another. Dangerous.
NEVER do a load-bearing project if you don’t know what you’re doing IF the load is going to be HUMAN BEINGS
Power Washing Soak Job
A bunch of adult children decide to paint Dad’s house. Scraping-off the paint would bee too hard so they bust out the pressure washer and get the paint off. Problem is, The washer splintered and damaged the wood. Now the paint job is out of the question. They end up putting siding on the house. Geesh!
Fixing Windows with Leftovers
A guy decides to remove his storm windows (not a good idea to start with). Then he realizes his regular windows have broken panes. He REMOVES ALL of the windows w/ broken panes and tries to use the storm window glass to replace the broken panes (Oh boy). Weather hits and all heck breaks loose. With the diy glass cutter he starts cutting the new panes to size and can’t cut the glass. He give up and hires a pro who fixes ALL the broken panes for $150.
First, don’t do a whole giant project unless you are sure you can do it. Take ONE window off and try to repair it. Then do another, and so on. MORE IMPORTANTLY. Perfectly fine storm windows should stay where the heck they are. They keep rain/wind/nastiness out and save your real windows. KEEP THEM. They are like insulation over your glass windows. They do have insulating and weather barrier value. LEAVE THEM ALONE!!!
Weather to Paint or Not
A couple painted their house and was done by the afternoon. They never worried about the weather forecast. The rains came and washed the paint off. ALWAYS CHECK THE WEATHER FORECAST ON HOUSE PAINTING/OUTDOOR PROJECTS.
That includes roofing!
A wife talks her husband into some bold, ridiculous color to paint the house. She chooses “Cranberry Red” but turns out looking like “Hooker Red”. The neighbors are aghast. The hubby is depressed. The wife is shocked that her colors turned-out so badly.
Here’s a piece of advice: always go TWO shades lighter than you originally thought. Color over large areas looks darker than the swatch. When I painted my daughter’s room pink, I let them (wife and daughter) pick the color family and the shade. I told them we’d paint two shades lighter on the color tree. I was right. In our previous house, I let them buy her pink paint: neon-bright Pepto Bismol Pink. The room never needed the lights on because the paint GLOWED–and I’m not kidding. I think the paint was radioactive.
The same thing happened in our study in our desert home. I painted/re-did a room for my wife for Christmas two years ago. I crown molded, assembled cherry bookcases and a desk. Set up her workstation without a hitch. The color she picked and wouldn’t be swayed: a peaceful blue. On the wall: EGGPLANT. And YES, I did make her buy samples and painted them. She liked the blue she wanted but was miserable when it was finished. AGAIN, GO TWO SHADES LIGHTER.
Remember, painting isn’t like furniture where you can “try” different locations. Painting is a real pain if you mess-up. Paint is permanent. I volunteered to re-paint the office for her, but I think she was embarrassed and said no. I’ll be re-painting the whole thing white for her in the future so she can start with a clean palette.
Boxers or Briefs?
A couple decided to tear up the old vinyl flooring and replace it with glue-down wood flooring. As the job proceeded, the husband, dressed in his nice clothes, began getting glue on himself. As it was hot, he stripped down to his skivvies and finished the job while getting glue and sawdust all over himself. The project was a success, but the hubby was covered in glue and sawdust for days, much to his wife’s amusement.
When 6 Equals 52
A family renovates on old farmhouse over 100 years old. The six-week job took a whole year.
Learn how to estimate the size of a project. This was a huge miscalculation.
One BIG hole in my podcast library is discussing D-I-Y SHTF.
If you’re not following me I mean: When you do a project yourself and you end up with a disaster. SHTF (Stink Hitting The Fan) is never pretty. Just the imagery alone is quite disgusting. But here we are. And here YOU are, and you need help.
If you’ve bitten off more than you can chew, the FIRST thing to do is STOP.
- Don’t Panic. Calm down and assess the situation
- Does it require an emergency phone call?
- If you’re not sure, look:
- If there’s water or fire or live electric or anything that will cause significant damage to yourself or the house CALL FOR HELP.
- An uncontrolled flood you cannot stop is a no-brainer. Note the word uncontrolled. Go to the nearest valve and shut it off OR shut off the main water supply to the house. No more emergency requiring immediate attention. Your repair bill just went down. Now fix the plumbing yourself now that you’ve calmed-down or call a plumber. Now, not panicked, get a professional that won’t gouge you.
- Electrical? Ususally not an emergency. Go to the panel and flip the breakers where there’s exposed wires, etc. Breaker box shooting sparks? Call an electrician immediately or call the utility or call 911. 220 wiring exposed? Stay away. Now call an electrician
- Fire? Grab an extinguisher and fight it while you consider if 911 needed. Not sure call first, then fight fire. Never use water on an electrical fire. It could be your life.
- Structural? If the house is creaking and you hear wood cracking and snapping…GET OUT. You may not be able to save the project safely. Hear a couple of creaks? Grab 2x4s and some jacks and shore-up the wall, ceiling, or whatever it is. Never work in an area where you think collapse is imminent. Better to lose a couple of beams or a wall than your life. Most likely, though, the 2x4s strategically placed will hold it until help arrives.
- Speaking of help, call a trusted neighbor or friend for small emergencies where an extra set of hands is all you need. Spouses work well, too, just remember to wear ear protection because the “I told you so” train is about to depart.
- Don’t lose your confidence. One bad project isn’t the end of the world. All craftsmen have done bad jobs they’ve torn down. Only bad craftsmen never tear something down and admit mistakes. I’m happy when a tradesman tears something down he’s not happy with and rebuilds it the right way…as long as he’s right and not charging me by the hour.
- Now that the situation has been stabilized, figure out what you need to fix the problem. Most likely, you’ll be calling a professional.
- Get help from the retired tradesman locally. Ask them to fix it but you want to help and learn. This always works for me. Nice, little, old men love me. I guess I look like everybody’s son. Anyway, they take me under their wing and show me what to do. Another reason tradesmen like me is because I treat them with respect and not a scumbag servant. People appreciate respect. I give them that.
- With that, I wish you success and hope you never need this article.Ep 066_When DIY Meets SHTF
Dan at thedailyprep.com gives me one of his coveted blog awards.
Financial crisis seems to be on everyone’s mind.
Today we discuss:
- My diy video disaster
- The welfare state
- Financial crisis in Greece
- Foreclosure/financial crisis at home
- World Bank warns of impending doom
- Just how dependent we are on government aid
- Things to stock-up on
- Local Currencies
Suffice it to say, again:
The economy is bad. Stay out of debt. Pay off the debts you have. Work hard. Keep a job. Hustle. Grow food. Save food. Save money. Prepare for the worst. Plant a garden. Plant fruit trees. Never give up. Never give in.
This is the WORST frickin D-I-Y video ever made.
I had NO idea my Iphone didn’t autocorrect when shooting video. It autocorrects watching videos, etc…so imagine my surprise when I download this diy film and is’t all upside down! Just shoot me. Geeeesh!
Anyway I build a decorative planter in the shady corner of my yard and use 2x8s and some decorative concrete block.
I’m huffing and puffing in the vid because I’m carrying all the materials and shooting at the same time. I sound VERY winded.
This video is a lot like my first podcasts. Well, with the worst ones out of the way, they’ll only get better. Have a laugh.
Perceived as true, but not true. READ
Did you know the US of A is still # 1, perception aside? Read
It’s true. We’re the leading economic power in the world despite perception. If Americans don’t wake up, they WILL surpass us.
An excerpt from the CNN article:
It’s clear that all is not well in the U.S. marketplace: Unemployment is high. Investors worry about the implications of enormous debts and deficits at home and across Europe. The U.S. housing market has been a mess since the collapse of home prices in 2007 and is showing few signs of improvement. We’ve lost faith in our politicians. It’s hard not to wonder if the U.S. has lost its competitive edge.
Emerging economies are catching up rapidly. China, the world’s second-largest economy next to the U.S., expects an average of 9% growth a year for the next decade. The U.S., whose economy barely grew during the first half of this year, will be lucky to see much more than 2% growth this year.
But amid the doom and gloom, the U.S. is still the place most investors and businesses around the world turn to for opportunity — even though Brazil, Russia and other emerging economies are increasingly catching up. Analysts at U.S. Trust, the private wealth management division of Bank of America, recently reminded clients in a note about “What’s right with America.”
Fortune highlights five of those points, along with a dose of analysis and — ahem — skepticism.
- Biggest and most productive economy
Tops in foreign investment
World’s top global brands
World’s best universities
World’s top reserve currency
I’ve included a little report from my dad’s desk, but I have a lot more to say about sugar and cancer.
From the Desk of Engineer/Veteran Ray:
Most of us homesteaders are aware of the effect too much sugar in our diets has. But just as a reminder to us, and especially new homesteaders, please take note.
Now, many of us eat good sugars in our diets and good foods from our orchards and gardens. As you will probably agree, few if any doctors ask us to eat less fruits and vegetables and more processed foods.
Eating less sweeteners in general is a step in the right direction and don’t load-up on chemically sweetened foods. Just because they are sugar-free doesn’t mean they are good for us. In general, manufactured substances are inferior to nature’s in terms of health. That goes doubly for food and things we consume.
Sugar substitutes can be more trouble than they’re worth. New and older studies alike link aspartame and sugar-free foods and (especially) sodas to obesity.
Others suggest to stay away from corn sweeteners.
Remember, sugars and obesity can lead to diabetes, a horrible disease.
Some studies link sugar and/or its substitutes to cancer.
All of us can cut back on our sugar intake. And don’t forget…carbohydrates break down into sugars. So if you don’t have a sweet tooth but gobble breads, starches, potatoes and the lie…you’re filling your body with sugars, too.
But I like sweet stuff. I’ve got news for you. I’m 81 and my three favorite foods are chocolate, ice cream, and cake. And I am still lean and fit as a man my age can be. I’ve kept my same weight for 60 years. I eat the sweets in moderation.
Right now, I’m on vacation, I’ve put on a few extra pounds, but next week I’ll be back to normal.
It’s not easy, because if I have a box of chocolates or a quart of ice cream, I’ll nibble at them until they’re gone (over a long period of time).
I hear young people make excuses for being overweight. So what? In my age group I see a lot of people who are fat, have diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and it isn’t pretty. What about me? For the first 81 years of my life, I’ve been in the hospital less than 5 days total.
The sacrifices to stay healthy? You bet they were worth it, and homesteading made it possible. It hurts me to see young people, especially teens, that are obese. You just know that they have body image issues and health problems on the horizon. I’ve also noticed that big parents tend to have big kids. That tells me that parenting AND genetics play a role. To the extent that you can, teach your children to eat well and lead by example. Be the parent. Make good, tough choices…for your children and yourself.
The answer? Be a REAL homesteader. Plant and eat nutritious foods. Live the life.
Are you a cereal eater? IGNORE the ones with sugar. I eat corn flakes and shredded wheat. The multicolored, frosted cereals do not come into my house. Check the grams of sugar. And don’t add sugar to your cereal once you get it home. Don’t eat ones with more than 3-7 grams per serving.
Chicken and fish are good for you and can be ruined by sugars. Avoid dipping sauces or glazes and dressings that ruin the point of a healthy meal in the first place…and skip the oil/fat, too.
Are you familiar with Stevia? It’s a herb, so it’s not artificial. It’s not grown (to my knowledge) in this country. It is sweet and has not been found to be “bad”…yet. It’s available in stores everywhere.
So cut down on your intake of sugar, use Stevia (for now) an a herbal supplement, and start eating your fruits and veggies like a good homesteader.
Diabetes Care–a medical journal says,”cancer incidence is associated with diabetes risk factors and diabetes treatments.”
Wellness Journal: Cancer Loves Sugar
Snopes.com: Cancer Update
Please Note: We are not physicians and material discussed here is for entertainment purposes only. Consult your physician on ALL health matters.
What I can say with a great deal of confidence: Sugar and diabetes go together. Diabetes and Cancer have been linked as concurrent illnesses. Stay away from sugar and diabetes, and you don’t increase your chances of cancer.
Also, I hope you like the new website. It’s all to make the reader’s experience better.
Jewish people and organizations targeted in US.
Now I really prep for natural disasters, but uncertainty of the man-made type abounds as well. It seems that there are always new reasons to prepare, defend, and homestead.
The only thing that doesn’t change is the need to prepare, defend, and homestead.
The issues surrounding Iran are complex and we may never know the whole story. I do know, however, that this is not a good thing. Rising tensions lead to rising gas prices and other expenses. The whole story I do know: I can prepare my family for uncertainty and do everything in my power to provide the best life I can for them. I want you to do the same.
Review of the Roxio Easy VHS to DVD data converter
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Love is family and memories. What is a better thing to do than save old memories and carry them forward? Now you can. Your old camcorder and vhs tapes…and cassette tapes, and albums… can now be easily converted.
If you’re like me, you have old VHS tapes collecting dust that are ready for the donate pile. Worse, all of your camcorder tapes are now obsolete and will cost a fortune to transfer to DVD. So, we give up. Right?
Wrong. For about fifty dollars you can order a converter that hooks your VCR to your computer. Install the program, click a few buttons, and you now can transfer all of your movies and family memories to dvd. It’s amazing.
I’m using it to save all of the family videos and can now and in the future use the old camcorder to shoot all of my video. All for fifty bucks it’s called the Roxio Easy VHS to DVD software suite.
I can’t put a price on memories and I cannot recommend this product highly enough. What does this have to do with homesteading and D-I-Y? Only that saving money and saving family films and memories are important to me. I hope they are to you.
For fixty bucks, I’m breathing new live into my camcorder, my cam tapes, my vhs tapes–everything. That’s thousands of dollars in entertainment and dvd conversion charges saved. Frugality is a trademark of homesteaders. I hope you find this product review helpful.
Now go out and save those family films.
Sometimes, simplicity is best.
I removed all of the distractions to focus on content. My back-up sites have those advertisers if you need seeds or supplies, but I will not be focusing on that right now. I will be focusing on you. Tell me if you like the change…or not. Your feedback is appreciated.
Mother Earth News’ sister publication, Natural Home and Garden, has an article worth reading.
Mother Earth News’ What to Plant Now is another MUST read.
I’m always trying to give you guys the best content and a reason to smile. As always, thanks for visiting.
Please contribute and tell me what you think, send articles, and send pictures.
Editing Note: This episode was re-recorded and in several parts. Sorry the editing is choppy/bad. With the wife at work and bath night among the things going on, it was a “real” episode.
I have no interest in attacking people on welfare. I have no interest in attacking people who are downtrodden, in despair, and feeling helpless about their economic future. In fact, this article/podcast is an attempt to try to address the despair and break the dependency in America today: Systemic Dependency.
Systemic Dependency (welfare, and its various forms) has done much to destroy our country. If you don’t believe me, let’s go through a little exercise:
- If I want to destroy an economic power and bring it to its knees, how would I do it?
- Would I declare war and attack it, a militarily superior nation?
- Or would I simply sit back and do nothing letting western civilizations take their natural slide from industrial powers to welfare states, watch them as they ship “dirty” jobs overseas and watch them become “service” economies and watch the socialist tendencies come to the fore as these “enlightened” nations betray the values that made them great?
- Obviously, America has become a socialist country that is great at encouraging people to take benefits they feel entitled to.
- Gone are the days of a nation forging ahead, telling its citizens right is right and wrong is wrong.
- Here are the days of forgetting who we are.
- Never apologize for what Americans are and what we believe.
- I don’t want courts where supreme court justices who hate their own Constitution…You DID hear what Justice Ginsberg said, right? No? She said she wouldn’t use it as a model if she were starting a country and developing a constitution today. How is this “person” allowed to be a justice after these comments? Talk about a wacko liberal.
- Back to the welfare state, perhaps Ron Paul puts it best,”…no one can deny that welfare programs have undermined America’s moral fabric and constitutional system…”
- Here is his speech in its entirety, from LewRockwell.com:
Oppose the Federal Welfare State
Ron Paul in the US House of Representatives, February 13, 2003
Mr. Speaker, no one can deny that welfare programs have undermined America’s moral fabric and constitutional system. Therefore, all those concerned with restoring liberty and protecting civil society from the maw of the omnipotent state should support efforts to eliminate the welfare state, or, at the very least, reduce federal control over the provision of social services. Unfortunately, the misnamed Personal Responsibility, Work, and Family Promotion Act (H.R. 4) actually increases the unconstitutional federal welfare state and thus undermines personal responsibility, the work ethic, and the family.
H.R. 4 reauthorizes the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) block grant program, the main federal welfare program. Mr. Speaker, increasing federal funds always increases federal control, as the recipients of the funds must tailor their programs to meet federal mandates and regulations. More importantly, since federal funds represent resources taken out of the hands of private individuals, increasing federal funding leaves fewer resources available for the voluntary provision of social services, which, as I will explain in more detail later, is a more effective, moral, and constitutional means of meeting the needs of the poor.
H.R. 4 further increases federal control over welfare policy by increasing federal mandates on welfare recipients. This bill even goes so far as to dictate to states how they must spend their own funds! Many of the new mandates imposed by this legislation concern work requirements. Of course, Mr. Speaker, there is a sound argument for requiring recipients of welfare benefits to work. Among other benefits, a work requirement can help welfare recipients obtain useful job skills and thus increase the likelihood that they will find productive employment. However, forcing welfare recipients to work does raise valid concerns regarding how much control over one’s life should be ceded to the government in exchange for government benefits.
In addition, Mr. Speaker, it is highly unlikely that a “one-size-fits-all” approach dictated from Washington will meet the diverse needs of every welfare recipient in every state and locality in the nation. Proponents of this bill claim to support allowing states, localities, and private charities the flexibility to design welfare-to-work programs that fit their particular circumstances. Yet, this proposal constricts the ability of the states to design welfare-to-work programs that meet the unique needs of their citizens. I also question the wisdom of imposing as much as $11 billion in unfunded mandates on the states at a time when many are facing a fiscal crisis.
As former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura pointed out in reference to this proposal’s effects on Minnesota’s welfare-to-welfare work program, “We know what we are doing in Minnesota works. We have evidence. And our way of doing things has broad support in the state. Why should we be forced by the federal government to put our system at risk?” Why indeed, Mr. Speaker, should any state be forced to abandon its individual welfare programs because a group of self-appointed experts in Congress, the federal bureaucracy, and inside-the-beltway think tanks have decided there is only one correct way to transition people from welfare to work?
Mr. Speaker, H.R. 4 further expands the reach of the federal government by authorizing approximately $10 million dollars for new “marriage promotion” programs. I certainly recognize how the welfare state has contributed to the decline of the institution of marriage. As an ob-gyn with over 30 years of private practice, I know better than most the importance of stable, two parent families to a healthy society. However, I am skeptical, to say the least, of claims that government education programs can fix the deep-rooted cultural problems responsible for the decline of the American family.
Furthermore, Mr. Speaker, federal promotion of marriage opens the door for a level of social engineering that should worry all those concerned with preserving a free society. The federal government has no constitutional authority to promote any particular social arrangement; instead, the founders recognized that people are better off when they form their own social arrangements free from federal interference. The history of the failed experiments with welfarism and socialism shows that government can only destroy a culture; when a government tries to build a culture, it only further erodes the people’s liberty.
H.R. 4 further raises serious privacy concerns by expanding the use of the “New Hires Database” to allow states to use the database to verify unemployment claims. The New Hires Database contains the name and social security number of everyone lawfully employed in the United States. Increasing the states’ ability to identify fraudulent unemployment claims is a worthwhile public policy goal. However, every time Congress authorizes a new use for the New Hires Database it takes a step toward transforming it into a universal national database that can be used by government officials to monitor the lives of American citizens.
As with all proponents of welfare programs, the supporters of H.R. 4 show a remarkable lack of trust in the American people. They would have us believe that without the federal government, the lives of the poor would be “nasty, brutish and short.” However, as scholar Sheldon Richman of the Future of Freedom Foundation and others have shown, voluntary charities and organizations, such as friendly societies that devoted themselves to helping those in need, flourished in the days before the welfare state turned charity into a government function.
Today, government welfare programs have supplemented the old-style private programs. One major reason for this is that the policies of high taxes and inflationary Federal Reserve money imposed on the American people in order to finance the welfare state have reduced the income available for charitable giving. Many over-taxed Americans take the attitude toward private charity that “I give at the (tax) office.”
Releasing the charitable impulses of the American people by freeing them from the excessive tax burden so they can devote more of their resources to charity, is a moral and constitutional means of helping the needy. By contrast, the federal welfare state is neither moral nor constitutional. Nowhere in the Constitution is the federal government given the power to levy excessive taxes on one group of citizens for the benefit of another group of citizens. Many of the founders would have been horrified to see modern politicians define compassion as giving away other people’s money stolen through confiscatory taxation. In the words of the famous essay by former Congressman Davy Crockett, this money is “Not Yours to Give.”
Voluntary charities also promote self-reliance, but government welfare programs foster dependency. In fact, it is in the self-interest of the bureaucrats and politicians who control the welfare state to encourage dependency. After all, when a private organization moves a person off welfare, the organization has fulfilled its mission and proved its worth to donors. In contrast, when people leave government welfare programs, they have deprived federal bureaucrats of power and of a justification for a larger amount of taxpayer funding.
In conclusion, H.R. 4 furthers federal control over welfare programs by imposing new mandates on the states, which furthers unconstitutional interference in matters best left to state and local governments, and individuals. Therefore, I urge my colleagues to oppose it. Instead, I hope my colleagues will learn the lessons of the failure of the welfare state and embrace a constitutional and compassionate agenda of returning control over the welfare programs to the American people.
Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.
- Dr. Paul puts it eloquently and succinctly.
- George Miller’s Failure of the Welfare State is another treatise by a physician and it’s rather long. In short, it states “What the welfare state seeks is a redistribution of wealth…” He tells why socialism is destruction and discourages effort from the worker and the need for effort from the recipient.
- Mr. Herman Cain was right. Instead of demanding systemic assistance, the poor and needy should be demanding jobs.
- Now of course there are those in need of systemic assistance who can never work due to illness, infirmity or situation. This is not about them.
- Let’s put people back to work and shrink the government.
- Let’s put the worker in charge of their own generosity.
- There are plenty of secular and faith-based organizations that can more effectively help the needy.
- The government does it badly and expensively and threateningly.
- Lastly, The Rise and Fall of the British Welfare State, by Stephen Berry, discusses the issue from the perspective of Great Britain, and country like us in many ways…but more on that later. perhaps the main push of his article is this: “What will be the verdict of history on the British Welfare State? Its main crime was the replacement of the burgeoning and varied private provision of welfare with the uniformity and mediocrity of the state monopoly; the values of the entrepreneur substituted with those of the administrator. The aim of state welfare was to remove divisions in society. Ironically, the effect has been to make those divisions more visible. Nothing is clearer in the UK today than the accommodation gap between the homeowner and the tenant in public housing. Nothing is more poignant than the difference between the pensioner who uses an ample private pension to spend the winter months in Spain, and the pensioner dependent on state benefits alone to fund the winter fuel bills.”
- To me, it’s simple: America is a country of sovereign individuals who will rise and fall in proportion to their skills, abilities and efforts. We celebrate success and encourage effort. Those supporting “sameness” (whether intentionally or unintentionally) seek to destroy what makes us great.
- We are witnessing this destruction and implosion in Greece, and soon in the United states.
- Perhaps the presidents who did more to promote socialism and destroy what makes us great are LBJ (President Johnson) and FDR (Roosevelt) and and the guy in the White House today.